Nathaniel Leatherwood went back to 'apologize' to retired widow Sue Johnson two days after he burglarized her house. When he returned to the scene of his crime, the 26-year-old found something that he hadn’t bargained for… Johnson holding a gun.
Leatherwood took a shotgun, medication and a cellphone from Johnson’s North Carolina home. He wasn’t a very clean thief. "I got in from church and there was a mess everywhere," says Johnson.
After the theft, Ms. Johnson vowed that she would handle things herself if given the chance, reports WRCBTV. "Never did I feel scared," Johnson said. "I was prepared to take care of myself." When Leatherwood, who is a wanted man in Georgia, returned to her house, Johnson got her chance.
"There was a knock on my door. He was standing there with about a three foot long stick,” Johnson said. "So I just pulled my gun out of my pocket and said I'm calling the sheriff's office. They're going to come pick you up. I'm not going to let this happen to an old, retired lady who lives alone."
When Sheriff Keith Lovin got to the scene, he was glad that Johnson had not been harmed. "I hugged her neck and told her she's my hero," says Sheriff Lovin. He recently taught a gun safety class at Johnson’s church and believes that all citizens should be prepared to deal with whatever comes their way. "A medical emergency or whether it's a fire, whether it's an intruder, whether it's a natural disaster, I think sometimes citizens sometimes get complacent," says Sheriff Lovin.
If something like this happens again, Johnson will be ready. Not that she’s too worried about it. "I just go to bed each night and sleep through," she said. "Whatever happens will happen."
Leatherwood is being held on second degree burglary and larceny charges.